OLIVIA – The Renville County Board of Commissioners will propose that the county adopt a local option sales tax to rebuild a nine-mile segment of a road that is a major west-to-east traffic artery in the central part County.
In discussions on July 5, commissioners informally indicated that they supported the designation of County Road 11 – from its intersection with County Road 6 north of Renville to U.S. Highway 71 north of Olivia – as planned project for local option sales tax revenue.
The commissioners said they will act at their July 12 meeting to schedule a public hearing on Aug. 9 on a proposal to adopt a half-cent local options sales tax. If the tax passes, the county must designate a specific project for the revenue it would generate, according to Jeff Marlowe, director of public works.
Marlowe offered either the nine-mile segment of County Road 11 or a portion of County Road 16 from its intersection with U.S. Highway 212 to County Road 11 as options.
Work on County Road 11 requires a complete reconstruction over a length of nine miles at an estimated cost of $14.4 million. Work on County Road 16 requires resurfacing and is scheduled in the county’s five-year road plan for 2027.
Commissioners agreed that the County Road 11 project would benefit the most if a sales tax option were approved. The County Road 16 project is potentially a better prospect for securing federal funds to help with its costs, they noted.
It is estimated that a local option sales tax can generate as much as $400,000 per year for the county. These revenues would likely be earmarked for a bond that would have to be granted to fund the project.
Commissioner David Hamre said he would prefer to see the County Road 11 project expanded to include more miles west of County Road 6.
Council Chairman Randy Kramer said he supports keeping the project as proposed in the interest of being fair to the public and a future council.
By proposing this specific project, the public knows that the local option sales tax will end when the project is funded. There is a certain end date by which future council and the public can weigh in on whether or not this funding mechanism for road projects will continue.